Barrier Reef in safe hands: TA

Barrier Reef in safe hands: TA
By admin

Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon has defended Australia’s protection of the Great Barrier Reef despite a report warning that it could be under threat from coastal developments.

UNESCO said the reef could be listed as a World Heritage site in danger unless changes are made to Australia’s management of the area.

Dixon, who sits on the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, admitted he had only read “extracts” of the report but conceded it suggested there “could be dangers” given the amount of development.

“That is something that will be debated but I don’t think anyone in Australia, be it developers, Government or individuals would not regard the Great Barrier Reef as virtually sacrosanct in maintaining its heritage and value,” he said. “I don’t see that Australia has ever fallen down on what it has done with the reef.”

The report comments on the “quality of the people and the work being done”, he said.

“I’d argue, and I’m on the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, that Australia is very vigilant and there is probably not a country on earth where the barrier reef would be in better hands.”

Dixon rejected the reef’s image had been damaged by the report but admitted that could happen “if there was a continuation of global coverage and where there were obvious incidents of damage”.

Greenpeace last week described the report as a “damning indictment on the threat posed to the Great Barrier Reef by coal port developments and gas port developments in Queensland”.

“Really what they are saying is if we continue with business as usual, then they are going to have to list the Great Barrier Reef as in danger,” Greenpeace said.

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